Friday, August 6, 2010

back2school 2010, lifting up JESUS

In front of me is a window.  As I sit here sharing with you through the keys on my computer and this devotion, I am overcome by the people who will walk passed this window tomorrow during our back2school event at The Community Fellowship.  Those faces from years gone by ring in my mind and heart.

Some will be excited and full of joy while others will be looking down and filled with something less than joy.  Maybe it's fear or just being uncomfortable.  I've seen some who were so full of pain that almost nothing could make them look up.  Those young eyes and burdened hearts do a number on me.  They make me reach for someone who is bigger and more able than me.

Jesus.  He is able.  He is able to celebrate with those that are excited.  He is able to lift the ones who are a little down.  He is able to reach way down into depression and pain pulling some from deep darkness into his sweet light.  By the way, God uses you and me to pull those people up.

John 12:32 (NASB) --- "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."

Those are Jesus' word.  Not mine or yours.  When we lift up Jesus, He lifts people as only He can.  He brings hope where there is none.  He gives strength where there is weakness.  He brings healing where there is brokenness.  He gives hugs and spreads contagious joy to all He is around.  God uses us to spread that.  Think about it.

The day Jesus died on the cross was horrible.  But that day is not unlike the days we live in.  The cross was placed high on a hill outside of Jerusalem where everyone could see it.  No matter where a person was or their attitude or situation, they could see the crosses of those criminals being put to death.  And the cross of our Savior, our healer and friend of the hurting who was also put to death.

When we lift up Jesus, people will come to know what real peace is like and where real hope comes from.  Who are you lifting up today?

Dave Ohlerking shares in his book "It's All About the Blood Jesus" that the word crisis in Chinese, Japanese and Korean is a huge word picture formed from two words.  Those words are dangerous and opportunity.  Think about it.

When we are hurting, when people are in crisis, we can walk into their lives, into a dangerous opportunity to share Jesus with them.  By lifting up Jesus, we give hope and healing and strength.  By lifting Jesus higher than anything else we give away what really matters.  By pointing people to Jesus we can make a difference in the lives of people we encounter.  Right now we can and we must lift up Jesus.

My prayer is that during our back2school outreach we will lift Jesus so high that those who are hurting and have no hope will run to Him and find all they need. Let's lift up Jesus!

Proverbs 18:10 (GWT) --- The name of the Lord is a strong tower. A righteous person runs to it and is safe.

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